Thursday, September 15, 2011

And Then There Were Two

Looking Back

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt

The weatherman foretold a 30% chance of showers and it rained 100% of the day.  We could have picked a better day to lug thousands of dollars worth of photo and video equipment up a muddy, rocky hillside covered with slippery leaves and cow paddies.  We might have waited until the trees were fully dressed in their Autumn finery, bathing in the spotlight of a crisp October sun.

Something more important than personal comfort or possible equipment damage drove us up to the holler that day.  That something was family.

A few days before, my dad offhandedly remarked that he was planning to go to the old home place where he was born. His sister and some of her family were going as well.   The primary intention for the visit was for her grandson (my cousin Raleigh) to produce a video to send to their brother, our Uncle Don,  who lay dying in a Philadelphia hospital.

When I asked dad why he had not mentioned it earlier, he said he wasn't sure I would want to go.

Are you kidding me?

There are so many reasons I would want to go. The opportunity to see and photograph the place where my father was born and the setting for all the stories I'd heard throughout my childhood was all the reason I needed to cancel my previous labor day plans and trudge forward through the mud and the muck.  With our busy and far flung lives, the opportunity for us to take this journey together as a family might not have presented itself again.

Sadly, Uncle Don passed away yesterday before he was able to receive this gift. We sent the photos I took, but I'm not sure he was able to see them either. For the rest of us, this video and the photos are a priceless treasure. I know my boys, who believe the sun rises and sets on my father's head and are as sentimental about family as anyone I know, will be glad to have it always. Be sure to watch until the very end to see my dad singing a little tune about paw paw fruit.  I happen to think he's adorable in this.

The person who looks like the hunchback of Notre Dame lurking around the dark corners of barns was me in a rain poncho and the hunchback was my backpack full of photography gear. Below is a slideshow of the photos I took that day. I'm still not done processing them all, so there will be more added over time.


  1. LeAnne, so sorry for your family loss.The video and photos touched my heart, how special & great your captured this for further generations to enjoy & connect with their family history.

  2. I appreciate the condolences Linda. Thank you.

  3. Beautiful LeAnne!! Thank you for sharing. What a priceless work of art! (both the pictures and video)

    Ginger Huff Felts

  4. Thanks for stopping by Ginger! Appreciate the comments. :)

  5. Amazing video and the slide show is full of such fabulous images. I am sorry that your loved one did not get to see all this, but what a treasure for those of you who were there!

    My heartfelt condolences on your loss.

  6. Thank you Deborah...It really was special for us for us and your condolences mean a lot.

  7. I love this photograph, and I am so very sorry for your loss LeAnne.

  8. Wonderful videography and editing of this video. It will be a priceless treasure for your family for years to come. The entire post is just lovely and touching.

  9. Awww this made me want to cry, a lot! It is so beautiful and reminds me of my family from the mountains of Tennessee. Your Dad reminds me a lot like mine who is not with us any longer, well of course he's still in my heart and my memories. Love the paw paw song, still reminds me of my Daddy!

    Could I please ask you what song that is playing in the background? Sounds like Emmylou Harris.

    So sorry for your loss !

  10. Sandy, I was curious about the song myself. I thought it was just beautiful and so perfect for this video as well. It is by a duo that goes by the name "The Civil Wars." The name of the song is "My Father's Father."

    Thanks for the comment....hope the post brought back some sweet memories along with the tears. :)

  11. Thank you LeAnne honey, it did bring back beautiful memories and thank you for the name of the song and who did it!

    p.s. I did receive your email too! thank you!

  12. oh, and lisa at Creative design suggested to me that i add a followers widget to my blog, and i did. Do you have one of those and I am missing seeing it?

  13. I do...its at the bottom left but sometimes it doesn't show up and I have to refresh my scrren. I don't think anyone ever notices it so maybe I should move it so I can get some followers LOL.


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